The recent events and happenings of life have left me recipeless but not wordless. I had to get this out. I think it’s just as important, or more, as a good recipe.
We watch the news and shudder, once again. Our bellies tighten and we hope that the breaking news won’t be followed by more breaking news. We hope it’s an accident—an insignificant accident with no casualties and only minor injuries, if that. We hope, until more breaking news flashes across our screens. The scene is grim, in fact, horrific. It’s not an accident but premeditated—by a person, not a malfunctioning machine. It’s significant. Our mind quickly files through the catalog of friends and family we know in the area. We account for our people. And then comes the anger, the questions, the tears and the like. We hold our people tighter, thankful that it wasn’t us. This time. We seek answers. We try to explain to our children what happened. Or like me, we question why we’ve brought kids into the world. This isn’t the world I want to give them. We seek solutions. What went wrong this time? What can we do to prevent it next time? What laws can we pass in the meantime? All good questions. All appropriate questions.
But if we’re honest with ourselves, there won’t always be good answers to our questions. There won’t always be good solutions to our problems. We can’t pass enough laws to keep the evil away. Evil—it’s all around us. It’s in you. It’s in me. When we lose our temper. When we hold a grudge against our neighbor. When we hate. No, I’ve never had plans to kill a person much less a large group of people, nor do I think that thought will ever cross my mind. But evil is in me too. When we let it go unchecked. What happens? That’s the question I’m asking myself now.
My husband is several weeks away from becoming a child psychologist. He knows a lot about mental health. Far more than I can claim to know. From time to time, he screens children for suicide and their immediate threat to others. Children. It doesn’t seem fair. How could their innocent minds think these things? It’s safe to say, it’s not fair. The world as we know it is not fair.
While we were dating, I watched the movie The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan. It was a movie so beautifully done, with parallels and twists that only an artist could create. But the opening scene of the movie haunted me. And in some ways, still does to this day. Dr. Malcolm Crowe, played by Bruce Willis, a child psychologist, is shot dead by a former client. A client, most likely, with mental issues. Peering into my future at the time, I hoped this wouldn’t be our story. Irrational or not, I was in some ways afraid to marry him for fear of losing him. Losing him like Anna Crowe lost her husband in The Sixth Sense.
Evil. It’s all around us. It’s not fair when and how it chooses to exert itself, and it appears when we least expect—whether provoked by a mental illness or not. It’s hard to fathom the “or not” part. Maybe I should have left that clause out. But I think there’s something there. It’s in you, and it’s in me. When we lose our temper. When we hold a grudge against our neighbor. When we hate. When we let it go unchecked. What happens?
I don’t have a good answer to all these questions. But one thing I know—we have to keep moving. Fighting the fear and hate it leaves in its wake, making sure it doesn’t leave us paralyzed. And somehow find a way to move forward with love in our bellies. My favorite president, Kid President, says, “If it doesn’t make the world better, don’t do it.” I think he’s on to something. We can’t foresee what’s ahead of us. But we can choose to make the world better in this moment. Good. It’s in you, and it’s in me. What happens when use it like mad?
Boston, my prayers are with you and all of those that will forever look over their shoulder.
On a lighter note—Milkshakes and Malts cookbook giveaway ends tonight (4/17). Get it while you can! If you’re missing the food talk, I’m over at Mint today sharing some mighty good avocado crema.